Palestinian Anglicans and Clergy Allies announces its launch

Palestinian Anglicans and Clergy Allies (PACA)
Posted Mar 11, 2024

Palestinian Anglicans and Clergy Allies (PACA), is a new grass-roots organization of Palestinian Christians worldwide, and the ecumenical alliance of clergy and seminarians who support them. According to its website, PACA invites both clergy and Palestinian Christians to join a Facebook group dedicated to nurturing conversation about how our church can be a better ally to and advocate for the Palestinian community, most especially those who are members of our communion.

The goal of PACA is to educate and equip clergy in the Anglican Communion—and the church in the global West more broadly—to understand, teach and preach from sound theological and pastoral foundations about the realities faced by Palestinians. The creation of this group is in direct response to the devastating events in Gaza and the West Bank since October 2023.

Co-Founder and Palestinian American priest the Rev. Canon Leyla King explains, “We recognize that many clergy in the Episcopal Church and other Protestant denominations face significant challenges in understanding the current realities of the Palestinian people. When our clergy are given training and tools that prioritize the voice of Palestinian Christians, they will be better equipped to teach and preach about the events of recent history from a foundation of good theology, pedagogy, and pastoral relationships.”

Along with PACA co-founders The Rev. Lauren Grubaugh Thomas, The Rev. Nicole Janelle, The Rev. Dr. Rachel Kessler and others, King emphasizes the importance of community within PACA, envisioning a “network of fellowship and support” for both clergy and Palestinian Christians. PACA seeks to create a space for resource sharing, networking, and storytelling. PACA’s priority is to uplift the often-neglected narratives of Palestinian Christians, with whom there is a special connection through shared baptism.

PACA stands in solidarity with the cause of Palestinian liberation, emphasizing that Palestinians have the “same rights to human dignity and flourishing as all the rest of God’s beloved people.” PACA’s founding principles include rejecting all manifestations of Islamophobia, anti-Arab racism, and antisemitism; and all forms of Christian Zionism, defined by Palestinian Lutheran Pastor Rev. Dr. Munther Isaac as “a political movement that uses the Bible to justify and legitimize Israel’s position of power, and by extension their own power, at the expense of Palestinians.” PACA’s commitment is to pray for peace among all people in the Holy Land, affirming that true peace can only be achieved alongside  true justice for Israelis and Palestinians.

The PACA website includes resources for churches and a signup portal that enables both clergy and lay members to receive an e-newsletter. The PACA Facebook page, established a few weeks ago, has gathered over 125 members and recently hosted its first monthly round table discussion for clergy.

PACA invites inquiries at PACA is supported in part by the Episcopal Peace Fellowship Palestine Israel Network.